Thursday, June 03, 2010

General Odierno gives Obama 'positive' report on Iraq security

(AFP) – 17 hours ago PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — US commander in Iraq General Ray Odierno Wednesday gave President Barack Obama a "positive" report on security as American combat troops prepare to exit within three months. "General Odierno provided a positive assessment of the current security conditions and the ongoing transition of responsibilities to Iraqi security forces," White House deputy spokesman Bill Burton told reporters. "The President and General Odierno also discussed the encouraging step taken by Iraq's federal Supreme Court to certify election results, as well as US support for an inclusive government formation process." Burton was speaking as Obama headed to Pittsburgh on Air Force One, after meeting Odierno in the Oval Office. The meeting came a day after US military support for Iraqi efforts to secure Baghdad's Green Zone ended, in the latest step in the American withdrawal from Iraq more than seven years after its invasion of Iraq. American combat troops are due to pull out of Iraq by the end of August, leaving behind around 50,000 soldiers who will focus on advising and training their Iraqi counterparts. Under the terms of a US-Iraq bilateral security agreement signed in November 2008, all American soldiers are to leave Iraq by the end of 2011. There are currently 92,000 US soldiers in Iraq.

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